The still growing Andes Mountains were formed from movements of tectonic plates. Glaciers carved the spikes of the growing Andes Mountains which run up the western edge of South America. Diverse terrains and habitats are part of the areas around the Andes Mountains and are home to many animals. In this associated content article, here are some Fun Facts About Animals of the Andes.
Fun Facts About Animals of the Andes : Penguins and Ocean Wildlife
The Magellanic Penguin, also known as the Jackass Penguin due to a donkey like vocalization, climbs through a tropical looking mossy forest. Humboldt Penguins nest near cacti on the beach. The penguins of the Andes are a sharp contrast to the typical image of penguins standing on snow and ice. The Andean’s flightless birds still swim for fish in the sea with other seabirds. Sea lions and Orcas, or Killer Whales, are also found in the waters of the Pacific Ocean.
Fun Facts About Animals of the Andes : Other Birds
Fire Crowned Hummingbirds can be seen sipping nectar from flowers with a background of glaciers. Temperatures in the Andes fluctuates. Hummingbirds that live there survive by going dormant in cold nights.
Larger birds like Andean Condors with a nine foot wingspan also live in the Andes. Eagles live there too. Chilean Flamingos who eat brine shrimp from waters too harsh for many other animals dance in groups in the waters of areas of the Andes. Ducklings swim in the freezing waters next to their parents. Macaws fly over tropical jungles.
Fun Facts About Animals of the Andes : Mammals
The unusual looking Viscacha is a large rodent similar to the Chinchilla. These Andean animals can be seen sitting on rocks with eyes closed warming themselves in the sun. Their warm fur molts regularly.
The Pudu, a tiny deer, twelve inches at the shoulder, lives in the forests. Tiny Opossums and Monkeys live in the trees. Andean Bears or Spectacled Bears can be found climbing the trees along with the Grey Fox, also found in North America. Another fox, the native Zorro lives in the grasslands and deserts.
The Kodkod, a feline half the size of a domestic cat can be found in the forests of the Andes. The much larger Jaguar lives in the Amazon jungle. In the grasslands, Mountain Lions, Cougars, or Pumas can be seen burring leftovers from a kill.
Also in the grasslands are Guanacos. Llamas and Alpacas are two breeds developed from this camel relative. The Guanaco withstands changing temperatures and is known to chase off Zorro foxes.
Fun Facts About Animals of the Andes : Animal Art
Large images of Andean animals including a spider, monkey, hummingbird, condor, and flamingo and the Nazca Lines were carved by the native people into the Andes. Some might put crop circles past the ability of humans, even with the technology of today. The giant carvings are examples of what people were capable of back then.
Grasslands, glaciers, the cloud forest, Amazon Jungle, deserts, and the Pacific Ocean are part of the area surrounding the Andes. A wide range of wildlife able to withstand harsh conditions and fluctuating temperatures lives there. The Andean animals in this associated content article are just a few of the variety of animals of the Andes and surrounding areas of South America. Many of them cross terrains to find food, breed, and survive in the different habitats.
PBS Nature Andes: The Dragon’s Back